FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief and practice.
The Evening and The Morning Star/2/16
|←Number 15|| The Evening and The Morning Star
Volume 2, Number 16
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: The Evening and The Morning Star Vol. 1-2
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR|
|Vol. 2.||Kirtland, Ohio. January, 1834||No. 16.|
THE OUTRAGE IN JACKSON COUNTY, MISSOURI.
We continue to receive intelligence from Upper Missouri, detailing facts relative to the inhuman outrage committed by a large portion of the inhabitants of Jackson county upon our friends, which we deem of importance to lay before our readers, as we are thereby furnished with satisfactory information by which we can draw a conclusion, in part, of the sufferings of the innocent, by the conduct of men who claim the appellation of honorable citizens in our Republic, entrusted with important offices in a free state, under a free Constitution, & under just and liberal laws; and not only these, but many of them profess the religion of Jesus Christ, and to be followers of the meek and lowly Lamb.
An everlasting stigma in the minds of all intelligent men, must be heaped upon those who are so lost to every feeling of that mercy and compassion, which moved the Savior of mankind to suffer for his creatures, as to rise up and persecute any sect or denomination because their belief differed from their own. Because in our country, every individual has the privilege of worshiping [worshipping] God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and no compulsory means whatever can be exercised in matters of religion, and those who are not disposed to embrace any prevailing tenet, or are not satisfied with those commonly received, have an undoubted right to form new ones, and so long as these, or their conduct is in no case whatever derogatory of the laws or Constitution, have an equal claim upon the same for protection with all other citizens, be their belief what it may.
Where is the individual who believes in revealed religion as contained in the sacred scriptures, but would blush with sorrow at the thought, that those who professed to be the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth, have risen up and stretched out the arm of persecution and violence against any society, because their opinions deviated from the tradition in which they themselves were taught? But should he blush, it would not be because these principles were contained in the doctrine of the new testament, or could any where be found in the preachings of the apostles: it would only be because of the corruption of the human heart, and the great apostacy [apostasy] from the example and faith of the primitive saints.-So that the scoffers at the religion of the bible could find no just plea against it on these grounds: it would only be an accusation against some of its professed votaries; while the sacred oracles would yet be unimpeached; and those pure principles which God has given from heaven to men for their peace and happiness, and so wisely calculated to lead them to salvation, remain unsullied, unmarred, and their truth still incontrovertible, to stand as a testimony forever against all those who so vilely turn from these pure precepts.
Millions of lives have been sacrificed to gratify a vain and tyrannical ambition; and millions have spilt their blood in enforcing their religion; and as many have fallen in defending themselves against those who were seeking to enforce their faith by the sword; and the unbeliever in Christ has brought this forward as an argument against the religion of the bible, and has been able to put to silence thousands who professed to believe it, in consequence of the conduct of men in past ages, when no such principles are to be found contained in that sacred volume from beginning to end, and its truth and propriety still the same in the mind of the candid searcher: still, to cloak their hypocrisy & tyranny, many have professed a belief in the scriptures, that they might the more easily blind the eyes of their followers, and in the name of the Most High, promise eternal life to all who would assist in putting to death their fellow mortals who did not believe as they did, that a universal religion might cover the earth, whether men were willing or not, when no such precept, instruction, or commandment, is any where to be found between the lids of that book; and is as foreign from every thing which God communicated to man from the creation to the present day, as light is prefferable [preferable] to darkness, truth to error, liberty to slavery, or heaven to the regions of the bottomless pit.
The fact, that men who professed religion were engaged in the shameful outrage in Jackson county, is one that needs no argument or testimony from us to prove, further, than to give the names of individuals; which we shall hereafter. That this persecution came in consequence of the religious belief of an innocent society, must be admitted by every candid unprejudiced man the moment he takes the time to examine the circumstances and testimony which are published to the world, not only by the leaders of the mob, but their declaration or bond, which was signed by themselves and their adherents, which was forwarded to the Governor of that state in the petition of the sufferers, and published in the last number of the Star.
We insert the first paragraph of the bond signed by the citizens of that county, to show the weak and vain excuse framed, either to justify themselves, or to blind the eyes of the more ignorant; for any man of principle or judgment might see at once, that these excuses in the minds of men of understanding would not weigh any thing, and that they could not plead any justification in the eyes of the law. It is as follows:
"We, the undersigned, citizens of Jackson county, believing that an important crisis is at hand, as regards our civil society, in consequence of a pretended religious sect of people, that have settled and are still settling in our county, styling themselves Mormons, and intending, as we do to rid our society 'peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must,' and believing as we do, that the arm of the civil law does not afford us a guarantee, or at least a sufficient one against the evils which are now inflicted upon us, and seem to be increasing by the said religious sect, deem it expedient, and of the highest importance to form ourselves into a company for the better and easier accomplishment of our purpose a purpose which we deem it almost superfluous to say, is justified as well by the law of nature, as by the law of self preservation."
From the foregoing it will be seen, that the principal charge brought or preferred against our society by the mob, was in consequence of the religion that they professed; acknowledging at the same time that the civil law did not give them a sufficient guarantee, but because their numbers were superior, they would drive a people from their homes, their possessions and their habitations; from their own lands, purchased with their own money of the Government and of individuals, holding legal deeds and duplicates of the same, and thus subject innocent and helpless women and children to undergo the fatigues and inclemencies [inclemency's] of an approaching winter, destitute of the means of subsistence, to wander without shelter, unless God in his infinite mercy should touch the hearts of individuals, and fill them with a just sympathy, and constrain them to open their doors and give them an asylum.
The leaders of the mob come forward with another assertion, thinking to justify themselves in the act of driving peaceable citizens from their own possessions; or, rather present it as an excuse to their adherents, to fire their indignation
against an unoffensive [inoffensive] people, that they might be excited to commit acts of violence, and think at the time that they were justified. They say, in their bond, or secret constitution, that it was ascertained more than a year ago that our people had been tampering with their slaves. Were it not, that this was one of their main accusations, we should not notice it; but as this complaint has gone considerably the rounds in the public prints, we consider ourselves bound to lay every circumstance and fact before our readers which may have the least bearing on this point. In the first place, they may understand, that not four hundred slaves, old and young, are to be found in the county of Jackson, amid a population of from six to eight thousand whites; or at least, were not at the time when they say that it was ascertained that our friends were tampering with their blacks.
In the spring of 1832 a part of the citizens of the county were very desirous to expel our people from the place. Many threats were thrown out by certain low, degraded, unprincipled persons; but it was pretty satisfactorily ascertained, that they were only put forward and excited to desperation by a still more influential set, that kept secreted behind the scene for fear of public censure and contempt. A county meeting however was called, and a large portion of the inhabitants attended, some to take measures to drive out, or compel their neighbors to leave, and others with a view to prevent any violent or unlawful acts being committed; but they dispersed with doing nothing more than threaten, except stoning houses in the night to disturb the quiet repose of a few families. At the time of this excitement a report was in circulation among the people of the county, that our society were persuading or endeavoring to, the blacks to become disobedient and leave, or rise in a rebellion against their masters. On learning that any thing of this nature was current, an inquiry was immediately made, and one of the members of the church was informed by a certain preacher of the Cumberland Presbyterian order, then a resident of the county, that one of his slaves heard one of the elders of this church say, after asking him his age, "that he thought he had waited upon his master long enough, until his master had waited upon him a while, or as long;" or words to this effect. This conversation was said to have passed the summer previous, and the individual accused was then in the east, and nothing farther could be learned on the subject; and the matter rested upon the story of the slave, which, perhaps was credited by some of the slave holders, but we are authorised [authorized] to say, that no conversation of that kind ever passed between the individual named by the afore mentioned preacher, and any slave in that State, having had a personal interview with him on that particular charge. No other charge was ever brought against our society by any of the people of that county, that they ever persuaded their slaves to acts of violence or disobedience.
They farther say, in their secret constitution, that at the time when it was ascertained that the "mormons," as they call them, had been tampering with their slaves, that their "mormon leaders" were informed of the fact, and promised to deal with any of their members who should in like case offend. All who are acquainted with the situation of slave States, know that amid a dense population of blacks, that the life of every white is in constant danger, and to insinuate any thing which could possibly be interpreted by a slave, that it was not just to hold human beings in bondage, would be jeopardizing the life of every white inhabitant in the country. For the moment an insurrection should break out, no respect would be paid to age, sex, or religion, by an enraged, jealous, and ignorant black banditti. And the individual who would not immediately report any one who might be found influencing the minds of slaves with evil, would be beneath even the slave himself, and unworthy the privileges of a free Government.
We do not deny but a promise was made on the part of certain individuals, to deal with, and bring to justice every person who might, to their knowledge, violate the law of the land by stirring up the blacks to an insurrection, or in any degree dissuade them from being perfectly obedient to their masters; but we deny the charge, that the slaves in that county were ever tampered with by us, or at any time persuaded to be refractory, or taught in any respect whatever, that it was not right and just that they should remain peaceable servants. Any charge of that nature is wholly and entirely unfounded, and is as untrue as the proceedings of the mob were unconstitutional and unjust, and could have been brought forward under no other views, and presented with no other motive, than to endeavor to show something to make a bad cause look excusable, and in the minds of some, justifiable!
They acknowledge that the civil law did not give them a sufficient guarantee to drive our people from the county; and any man of discernment will see at once, that a force sufficient to expel a people from their homes in an unjust and murderous manner, would be sufficient to inflict any penalty of the law that justice might require. And our readers may understand, that every office civil and military in the county was held by men who did not belong to this society. And had there been the least shadow of evidence against any one for any misdemeanor, they would have been brought to justice; for certainly, they had force sufficient to have done it without trouble, had there been any resistance. And who does not know, that a set of men degraded enough, to force peaceable inhabitants from their own lands without a cause, would be the last to let an opportunity pass unnoticed and unattended to of avenging themselves, where the least shadow of equity could be produced on their part, against the objects of their hatred?
That the religion of our friends was all, in short, that excited the hatred of the people of Jackson county, or the more part of them, is evident from the following facts: First, It will be seen from the first paragraph in their secret constitution, that in consequence of a pretended religious sect that were settling among them, they had reason to believe that their civil society was like to undergo a change. And secondly, while Messrs. Phelps, Partridge, Morley, Corril [Corrill], Gilbert and Whitmer, were in the hands of the mob, on the 23rd of July, last, two provisos were offered on which it was said that their lives would be spared, and no other. First, that they should deny the faith which they professed, which if they would, all should be peace and friendship on the part of the mob toward them; but if they would not, they should agree to leave the county, or their lives should be taken immediately on the ground! "The people of Jackson can stand any thing but men who profess to have seen angels, and to believe the book of Mormon," said an elderly man, who is a very self pretending righteous one, while the mob were leading up their objects of hatred on whom they thirsted to spill their blood. This man belongs to a religious society in that place, who as he says, are the Lord's elect, while all who do not believe as they do, are reprobates, and it was foreordained that they should be damned!
Every officer civil or military, on entering upon the duties
of his office, takes his solemn oath, (or affirmation,) to support the constitution of his respective state, and of the United States; and from the constitution of the state of Missouri we extract the following:
"4. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man can be compelled to erect, support, or attend any place of worship, or to maintain any minister of the gospel or teacher of religion; that no human authority can control or interfere with the rights of conscience, that no person can ever be hurt, molested or restrained in his religious professions or sentiments, if he do not disturb others in their religious worship:
"5. That no person, on account of his religious opinions, can be rendered ineligible to any office of trust or profit under this state; that no preference can ever be given by law to any sect or mode of worship; and that no religious corporation can ever be established in this state."
No exceptions can be taken to the principles contained in these clauses of the constitution of the state of Missouri. A just and liberal spirit is manifested so plainly, that none but men of the corruptest principles could ever overlook it; and none except such as are lost to every feeling of humanity, or blind to every sense of a day of retribution, could violate a solemn oath once taken to support it. The actors in that awful tragedy may seek for an excuse, but it will be vain to undertake to make their proceedings appear in the least justifiable in the eyes of the constitution and laws of our country, or weigh any thing in the minds of all thinking men.
The blood of innocence has been shed; the cries of helpless women and infants have ascended up before the throne of Jehovah; men who never harmed the hair of any individual, have been hunted like the wild hart; the Great Charter of American liberties has been willfully assailed; the constitution of our country shamefully trodden down by a lawless set of miscreants, and our land which has drank the blood of our fathers while fighting for freedom, that consciences might be uncontrolled, has been stained in consequence of this right being freely exercised!
To give to a certain sect of religious people the privilege of enjoying peace and happiness under the protection of civil laws, and deprive another of them because in their sentiments they differed, would offer violence to the constitution, and be a sure course to rid our happy country of a large portion of its citizens, to seek an asylum among strangers, or like the ancient saints, to wander in deserts, in mountains, and dens of the earth, casting every look in vain to the peaceful place that gave them birth, till God relieves them of their mourning and distress for their once lovely country, by calling them to an eternal world!
Where are the liberal principles which swayed the bosoms of our fathers, while bleeding for our Independence, and kindled up an everlasting hatred to intolerance and cruelty, while framing the Constitution which holds these States together? Where are the common sympathies of our natures which were inculcated into our minds while in the days of our youth, to treat all men with complacency and respect, be their religious views what they may, that we are left so vile, so degraded, so beneath every thing heavenly or holy, as to desire the destruction of our fellow beings enough to be excited to commit acts of violence upon any?
Our fathers fled from the face of persecution, and left their homes, their friends, and the land which contained the ashes of their ancestors, braved the dangers of the deep, and underwent the hardships and perils subsequent to a wilderness filled with desperate and ferocious savages when once provoked to anger, that they might peaceably enjoy the blessings of free uncontrolled conscience.
They saw their young men massacred, and their helpless infants dashed in pieces; they underwent the fatigues and privations of a lengthy war to achieve liberty for their children, that when their weary heads were reclined in silence to return to their mother earth, their posterity might rise up in the full enjoyment of that rich legacy bequeathed to them-the blessings of a free constitution.
No particular name or distinction of sect is to be found in that liberal document, drawn up in the skill and wisdom of our fathers. No particular tenet swerved the minds of its framers, while employed in preparing an article to be a guide for their children, which was to astonish and out vie the most polished and wise nation then on earth. That feeling of freedom which fired the intellect and roused it to assert its rights, under a recollection that their fathers once sought an asylum in a strange country for their religion, seemed to have its proper influence upon the mind, when employed in adopting a form of government calculated in every particular for the peace, prosperity, and happiness of all its citizens, whether in a civil or religious capacity.
That these blessings might descend to the latest generation, and be enjoyed by the last race of beings that might be permitted to dwell upon this earth, before the final overthrow of all earthly kingdoms, when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and, the Judge of all descend to establish his kingdom no more to be removed, where all his subjects may enjoy one undisturbed eternity of peace, was, no doubt the wish, the fervent prayer, of the framers of our Constitution.
-> COMMUNICATIONS.-We would inform J. S. C. that his communication was not received in time for insertion; and though we consider the sentiment generally correct, we think that if a few expressions were softened it would have a better influence and a greater weight upon the minds of our readers than otherwise. We do not make these remarks out of any disrespect to our friend, for we are pleased with a spirit of boldness in advocating the truth, and a feeling too that would disdain to swerve from the principles of heaven before the eyes of a scrutinizing public, when the cause of righteousness is calling for advocates at this day.
-> Perhaps our readers may think that our friend on the Millennium is too severe with the Harbinger and its Editor. We presume that our friend has no personal feeling to gratify, and that if at any time previous the Editor of the Harbinger may have used his name too freely before the public, that he is willing to leave that matter to be adjusted if that Balance where truth, virtue, and godliness, will shine in their conspicuous light and where the Searcher of all hearts will decide all matters of difference, and bring every contention between man and man to an eternal close!
It may be superfluous for us to repeat the assurances which the name, Millennial Harbinger gives to the public of an investigation of the subject of the Millennium, or something instructive how that glorious era is to present itself in the economy of heaven to men.-That the Editor, with all his biblical knowledge has not yet ascertained the secret, (if we may credit his own remarks,) will be seen from the following which we copy from the first page of the 2nd No. of the IV. Volume of the Millennial Harbinger. We think that the following is worthy an insertion in the Star, since it came from a man of as high standing, (or profession,) in the religious world as Mr. Campbell; and if the readers of the Harbinger have not yet forgotten these remarks of the learned Editor, perhaps some of the readers of the Star may be pleased, if not edified to peruse them also. We have, now, no room for comment on the article were we disposed to make any, and shall give it to our readers as it is, and leave them to interpret it for the present themselves if it is not already sufficiently plain. It commences:-
The attentive reader will have discovered before to-day, with what caution we have spoken on the prophecies and millennial matters. Among the causes of this the following is chief:-We felt some misgivings in the most popular theories of interpretation; and, although prepossessed in favor of that system which flattered us with the expectation that the moral machinery about to operate, and which was operating upon the world, would usher in the glorious day, supported by the vials of God's wrath on an apostate church; we were involuntarily almost borne [born] forward into another, and entirely different system of interpretation. Between these conflicting winds we thought it presumptuous to weigh anchor and launch upon the mighty deep. For the last five or six years we have been waiting for fair winds and a serene sky, and cannot yet say that the prospects are such as to authorize us to tempt the vast abyss. But here comes a bold adventurer, who is determined to make the voyage at all hazards. As he seems destined for the same port, we shall help him to put to sea; and as he appears to sail by the same stars, if he can brave the mighty dangers and get safe to land, we shall hail him as the most fortunate of modern adventurers.
Figures apart, we shall give this brother a fair hearing; for he deserves it! This we say, not because we may agree in the main propositions of his essay; but because he speaks like a man, and because the subject deserves more profound attention than any other, except it be the personal remission of sins. We may add a note occasionally, but he shall be permitted to tell his own story in his own way. EDITOR.
THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR.
KIRTLAND, OHIO, JANUARY, 1834.
The following letter is from one of our friends in Missouri, who was an eye witness to a considerable part of the proceedings of the mob, and as will be seen from the communication, escaped the hands of lawless ruffians only by a hair's breadth. We have no hessitation [hesitation] in presenting this letter to our readers, as a correct detail of the transactions of both parties, so far as it particularizes the events.
We know the writer to be a man of truth and candor, having had a personal acquaintance with him; and we have no doubts as to the correctness of his statements, of that part which did not pass under his immediate inspection, having been corroborated by letters written by other individuals.
In our last we published the principal facts which are contained in the following, but having been furnished with a narration of the scene from the 23rd of July, to the time when the most of our friends were driven from the county, we considered it worthy an insertion entire. It will be seen that this account is abridged; but we shall publish in pamphlet form in due time, all the facts at full length from beginning to end, relating in any respect to the outrage in Missouri, committed upon our friends, with a history of the first settling of the church in that county, and the general conduct, occupation, and character of the inhabitants among whom they settled.
Liberty, Clay County, Missouri, December, 1833.
BROTHER O. COWDERY,
Inasmuch as many reports have gone abroad respecting the affairs of the church in these parts, and not knowing whether any person has given you the particulars, I will give you a brief, correct, and an impartial account as nearly as I can; but to give all the particulars would require a volume, yet I will give you as much, and that in order, as will enable you to have a general, and correct understanding of the whole transaction.
The raising and spreading many slanderous and false reports against us as a society; the coming out against us in night mobs! stoning our houses; breaking our windows, burning our hay; their meeting together and binding themselves, even in writing, to each other, in which they pledged their lives, their property, and their sacred honors, forcibly to drive us from the county, if we would not go without; the demolishing the printing office on the 20th of July, taring [tarring] and feathering the bishop of the church and another member, and their meeting on the 23rd to go on with the work of destruction, are facts so well known that I need not name their particulars at this time.
It is also well known, that we, seeing that there was no other alternative for us, to save the destruction of lives and property, at that time we agreed, six of us to leave the county, and to use our influence with the church to persuade them to leave also, one half by the first of January, and the other half by the first of April next; supposing, that before the time arrived the mob would see their error and stop their violence; or that some means might be employed so that we could stay in peace and enjoy our privileges as guaranteed in the constitution and laws of our country. But after waiting some weeks, and seeing that their wrath did not abate, but their threatenings continually increased upon us, and losing all hopes of their withdrawing their wicked purposes, and also disparing of having the laws executed in Jackson county without assistance, we therefore thought it would be wisdom to appeal to the Governor for aid.
We accordingly drew up a petition and circulated it in as prudent a manner as possible; for the mob threatened, that if we petitioned or prosecuted, they would MASSACRE us in toto. But on presenting the petition to the governor, he manifested a willingness to assist us, but said he could not, until we had tried to enforce the law; and then if we could not he would enable us to do it.
We therefore saw plainly, that we were under the necessity of making a trial in our weak situation, in opposition to the wrath and violence of the enemy. And notwithstanding we should in so doing become exposed to death and destruction from the hands of the mob, yet we determined to magnify the laws of the land, and honor the advice of the Governor, by entering a prosecution against them. Accordingly we employed counsel for that purpose, and when the mob had learned this fact, their wrath seemed for a few days to abate; but they soon began to rage again, and to threaten to do their mischief in the night.
Until this time we had been in a defenceless [defenseless] situation, perfectly so, not even pretending to use any weapons, or even standing in our own defence [defense]. But on seeing that the wrath of the mob was great, and that our lives, as well as our property was in danger; knowing also that we had suffered as much as the law of man or of God required of us, and even more without resisting; and also being advised by good counsel, we concluded on the whole to prepare ourselves for self defense.
But in this we found ourselves somewhat lame; for many of us had not weapons to defend ourselves with. And again, a question arose in our minds to what extent we might go in defending ourselves; but on inquiry we found that a man was justified in defending his own person, his family, and his house. But again, another difficulty arose, which was this, one man in his house alone could not defend it against many. We again asked counsel, and found that inasmuch as the mob gathered together to destroy us, we were justified in gathering together to defend ourselves.
We then came to the conclusion, that inasmuch as they should embody and come against us, we would embody to defend ourselves; although we knew that in this we should labor under great disadvantages; yet we supposed that if we prepared ourselves as well as we could for self defense, that this would have a tendency to stop the enemy from coming on us; but in this we were disappointed.
They proceeded to stone our houses in Independence in the night time, and to threaten the lives of individuals; but did no great damage until Tuesday night, October 31, when about forty or fifty in number, many of whom were armed with guns, proceeded against the branch above, or west of the Blue, sometimes called the Whitmer settlement, and unroofed and partly demolished ten houses; and also whipped and pounded several persons in a shocking manner, and diligently sought for others who fled for safety.
Now, the brethren at that time, were not collected together for defense, supposing that they had not a perfect right to assemble until the mob had; they therefore neglected this until the mob was upon them; and then they had no time. And although some of them had guns, yet being alone, and seeing the mob also had guns and threatened their lives, if they resisted, found it of no use to undertake to defend themselves. However, they dispersed after committing such depredations as they thought proper at that time, (without being resisted,) after having threatened to come again in a more violent manner than ever.
This news was soon spread abroad, and none but the sufferers themselves can imagine the feelings that it produced. To have their houses pulled down over their heads; their women and children exposed to the storms and blasts of a cold and dreary winter; and after laboring hard to lay up provisions for the winter, then to be driven from it and have it destroyed, and no means of obtaining more; and in addition to this, to be hunted and beaten in an unmerciful manner, was asking more of us than we felt willing to submit to. But the question was, what shall be done? We were in a scattered situation, and could not embody immediately; and if we gathered the brethren to defend one part, the mob would fall upon another. Our neighbors who felt to pity us, though very few in number, dare not lift a finger in our behalf for fear of sharing the same fate. We could see no relief from any quarter; our only strength was within our own body, trusting in God: but something must be done; night was approaching in which we expected more or less of us to suffer.
We concluded at all hazards to try for a peace warrant against certain head ones of the mob. We accordingly went to a magistrate and applied for one, but to no purpose; he refused to grant one on our oath. We then read to him the Governor's letter, which directed us to proceed in that way, but he disregarded it, and said he cared nothing about it.
Having no time to lose we concluded to advise each branch of the church to gather into bodies the best way they could for their own preservation.-Threatenings were heard from the mob in different quarters. Night came on, and a party of their men proceeded to the branch on the prairie, sometimes called the Colesville branch. Two of their number were sent out as spies, well armed with two guns and three pistols: they were discovered by some of our brethren, with whom they held some conversation; and after one of them had struck one of our men over the head with the britch [breach] of his gun, they were taken by our brethren, their guns and pistols taken from them, and they kept till morning; their guns and pistols were then given to them and they let go without injury. It being dark, and the rest of the mob not showing themselves, were only heard by some of the brethren in the adjoining woods to enquire [inquire], why their spies did not return.
The same night, (Friday, Nov. 1,) another party commenced stoning our houses in Independence, breaking down our doors and windows, and destroying furniture, &c. A number of us were gathered together about a half a mile west of Independence from whence we could distinctly hear them; but we concluded that unless they did something more than stone and brick bat our houses, we would not meddle with them. But on sending some to discover what they were about, we learned that they had commenced pulling down the dwelling house of brother A. S. Gilbert.
We then thought it best, and accordingly proceeded in order into town, and as we drew near the store of brother Gilbert, we saw a number of men sending stones and brick bats against the same; but as soon as they saw us they fled. However, we were successful in taking one of them in the act, who appeared to be much frightened. And we found that they had broken down the store doors, and scattered some of the goods in the streets. Then brother G. on seeing this, took the man whom we had taken in spoiling the
store, and in company with two or three others went with him to the magestrate [magistrate], and entered a complaint against him in order to get a warrant and have him secured; but the magestrate [magistrate] refused to do any thing about it, therefore, we were obliged to let him go again. We then went home and there was no more done that night as I know of.
The next day, (Saturday, Nov. 2,) we knew not what to do for our safety; we talked some of the propriety of bringing our families and effects into one place; and this we knew would be attended with great inconvenience; for we had no houses nor shelters for our families, nor fodder for our cattle; and as the mob was upon us night after night we had no time to do it; therefore we must do the best we could. However, all the families in town removed as much together as they could, about half a mile west of town, and we concluded to send men to the circuit Judge, who lived about forty miles off, to get a peace warrant.
A party of the mob gathered that night and went against the branch at the Blue; and after tearing the floor from one house and doing some injury to the furniture, they divided their company, and one party went to pulling the roof from one dwelling house, while the other party went to another; they broke upon the house, and found the owner in bed whom they took and beat unmercifully. But here they were met by a party of the brethren who had been wise enough to prepare for them; a firing of guns commenced, they say, by our men, but our men say, by them upon us; but as near as I can learn from those who were there, it can be easily proven that it commenced by them.
However, while they were in the act of pounding the brother whom they found in bed, one of them drew a pistol and swore he should blow out his brains; but as the Lord would have it, the ball, instead of going through his head only cut a gash on the top of it. All was confusion: our women and children crying and screaming with terror, were mixed in the croud [crowd]; and in the skirmish a young man of the mob was shot through the thigh, and this stopped the affray that night.
The next day, (Sunday, Nov. 3,) we dispatched four men to the circuit Judge, to obtain a peace warrant. At the same time our enemies were busily engaged in gathering all the force they could, to come against us, and we saw that they were terribly enraged: we were told that they were going to get a 6 pounder and come against us openly the next day; and we were also told by those who professed to be our friends, that we certainly would all be massacred. We saw that they were increasing their numbers, and we had nothing to expect but a terrible work of destruction to commence the next day, and we warned our brethren to be prepared for it as well as they could; therefore, two or three branches west of the Blue gathered together as well as they could, leaving their houses and property to the ravages of the mob.
Next day came on, (Monday, Nov. 4,) and a large party of the mob gathered above the Blue, and sometime in the forepart of the day came to the Blue, took the ferry boat, and threatened some lives, &c. and for some cause they abandoned their purpose at that time, and returned to Wilson's about a mile west of the Blue. However, word had gone to our brethren, who had assembled themselves together at the Colesville branch west of the Blue, that the mob were doing damage on the east side of the Blue, and that the brethren there wanted help.
Accordingly nineteen of our men volunteered, and started to go their assistance, but when they had proceeded a part of the way, they learned that the mob were not doing mischief at that time, but were at Wilson's store, so they turned about to go home, when the mob by some means found out that a party of our men were on the road west of them, and a party of them, thirty or forty started on horse back with guns to fall upon our men; and after riding two or two and a half miles they overtook them; and as soon as the brethren saw them, they dispersed and fled; and some ran immediately to the main body of our brethren to let them know that the mob were upon them.
But the mob not being willing to give up the brethren without injuring them, pursued after, and hunted in order to find them. They searched in the cornfield of Christian Whitmer, and fed their horses freely upon his corn. They also took him and pointed their guns at him, threatening to kill him if he did not tell them where the brethren were. They also got upon the top of his house, and threatened some women and children.
Thus they were employed in hunting, and threatening the brethren until one of our men returned with assistance from the main body, which was about three miles off. And when the mob saw our men they fired upon them, and our men immediately fired in return. The mob immediately fled, and the brethren followed them a few rods and let them go. Two of the mob and some of their horses were killed on the ground, and others badly wounded. Several of our brethren were wounded, one mortally, who died the next day. The others are like to recover. Brother Dibble was shot in the bowels, and he says, by the first gun that was fired.
The same day at Independence, brother A. S. Gilbert, Wm. E. McLelin [McLellin], I. Morley, myself, and three or four others were taken for an Assault and Battery, and false imprisonment, by the man whom we had taken the Friday night previous in the act of stoning the store. Although we could not obtain a warrant against him for breaking open the store, yet he had gotten one for us, for catching him at it. We were prisoners in the court house when news came to town of the battle last mentioned. But instead of coming correctly it was stated, "that the mormons had gone into the house of Wilson and shot his son." This greatly enraged the people; and the court house being filled, a rush was made upon us by some to kill us; but the court esteeming it too dishonorable to have us killed while in their hands, on our request shut us up in the jail to save our lives.
The people had become desperate, and were busily employed in getting guns and ammunition, and preparing themselves for a general massacre of our people the next day. And we were frequently told that night, while in the jail, and that too by men of note, that without any doubt many lives would be lost the next day; for now, not only the mob, but the whole county were engaged and greatly enraged against us, and that nothing would stop them short of our leaving the county forthwith; and they thought that they were so enraged, that even this would not stop them from taking our lives.
We accordingly sent word that night to our brethren, that they might not expect any thing the next day but a general slaughter of our people, and that they must take care of themselves the best way they could. However, we at the same time came to the conclusion, on seeing the rage of the people, that it would be wisdom for us to leave the county immediately, rather than to have so many lives lost as probably would be. The sheriff and two others took us out of the jail and went with us to see our brethren upon this subject: our brethren agreed to it; and as we were returning to the jail about 1 o'clock at night, we were hailed by a party of men with guns, who intended no doubt to kill us. I wheeled and left them, they fired a rifle at me; brother Morley also left them; but brother Gilbert stood his ground. They came up to him; presented two guns in order to kill him, but as providence would, one snapped and the other flashed in the pan. He was then knocked down by one of them, but his life was preserved and he not materially hurt.
Our agreement to leave the county forthwith not being known to only a few, the people in their wrath collected together in the morning, well armed for war, and Col. Pitcher called out the militia, as he said to quell the mob; but it would have been difficult for one to have distinguished between the militia and the mob, for all the most conspicuous characters engaged in the riot were found in his ranks. Our proposals to leave the county, however, were laid before the people, and we were told, that it was with much difficulty that they were constrained to let us go, but seemed determined on taking our lives.
At the same time our brethren west of Independence, not knowing that we had agreed to leave the county, and supposing that nothing but death awaited them, gathered together and marched towards town, and arrived within one mile of the place by 8 or 9 o'clock in the morning, (Tuesday, Nov. 5,) with a determination to make a stand about half a mile west of town, at the spot where the brethren at Independence branch had collected together, and there maintain the ground or die upon it, if the mob fell upon them. But on being told that we had agreed to leave the county, and also that the militia had been called out to make peace, they turned aside into the woods, and concluded to disperse and go home. But some persons on seeing them in the morning marching toward town, had carried news that our people were on the march toward the place, no doubt, "they supposed, with an intention to do mischief".
On hearing this the militia became enraged, and Col. Pitcher would not give us peace only on the conditions that we should deliver up those men who were engaged in the battle the day before, to have them tried for murder; and also, that we must deliver up our arms, and then, he said, we should be safely protected out of the county.
This being the only alternative for us, we accordingly agreed to it and delivered up our arms, there being forty nine guns and one pistol. We also delivered up the prisoners who had been demanded by them, and began to prepare to leave the county. They kept the prisoners whom we delivered up to be tried for murder, a day and a night, and after threatening them much, and bringing them to a trial, let them go for an old watch.
We plainly saw that the militia of the county with Col. Pitcher at their head, had taken from us our arms when we were using them only in self defense against an outrageous mob. And instead of quelling the mob, he left them in full power to come upon us when they pleased, and promised us no protection against them, only while we were fleeing from our houses and homes with our women and children, to seek a shelter in the open air the best way we could.
Thus we were obliged, not only by the mob, but also by the militia to leave the county of Jackson. And on reflection the next morning, we concluded to go south into Van Buren county and there make another settlement about forty or fifty miles off. But the people, on hearing this, although it was agreed to by some half a dozen of the leading men in Jackson county, rose up against it, and said we should not go, if we did, they would follow us.
The same day, (Wednesday, Nov. 6,) a part of the mob between fifty and eighty in number, supposing that Col. Pitcher had not done his duty as faithfully as he ought, mounted their horses with their guns on their shoulders,
went to visit the brethren, and frighten the members of the church: some they fired at, others they whipped, and some they chased upon horses for several miles; others they sought for diligently, as they said to kill them; and they burst open doors in an abrupt manner, and searched houses for guns and other weapons of war. As they passed through the branch at the Blue, they swore that if the people were not off by the time they returned at night, they would massacre the whole of them.
Accordingly, some started for Clay county, and about one hundred and thirty women and children, with six men, started without goods or furniture, and the most of them on foot, and wandered several days on the prairie, not knowing where to go, supposing that it was not their privilege to return and take their goods. Some have since returned and taken some of their things, and others I have not heard from particularly. But the more part of the church waited to take some or the principle part of their goods.
When we found that we could not go south peaceably, we came across the Missouri river into Clay county, where we found the inhabitants as accommodating as we could reasonably expect. Many of us have obtained houses and shelters for our families, and others have built huts in the woods, while some who have lately come over are yet in tents, or in the open air.
Some few of the brethren thought that they could remain after the others had come away, but on Saturday, November 23, the mob held another meeting, and appointed a committee to warn off those families that remained. Accordingly, on Sunday and Monday following, the brethren that remained were ordered off with many threatenings if they did not go immediately.-They have, since that time been getting away as fast as possible. Some few families, I learn, have gone south to Grand River, and some others have gone east. Great sacrifices have been made: some being destitute of money, have sold their cattle and other effects at a very low rate.
Much property that was left behind has been destroyed, and other property that yet remains probably will be before it can be taken care of. Some families are as it were entirely destitute, and must unavoidably suffer unless God interposes in their behalf. This is the present situation of the church.
And now, the question is, what can be done? The Governor has manifested a willingness to restore us back, and will if we request it; but this will be of but little use unless he could leave a force there to help protect us; for the mob say, that three months shall not pass before they will drive us again. And he cannot leave a force without calling a special Legislature for that purpose, unless the President should see fit to place a company of rangers here with power to assist us in time of need.
To enter a criminal prosecution against them would be of little or no use; for I am satisfied that a grand jury cannot be had in Jackson county at present that would indict them for their crimes; and the law, I am informed, requires that criminals shall be tried in their own county. And if the heads of the mob should be taken and put into jail it undoubtedly would be torn down and they liberated.
If we could be placed back, and become organized into independent companies, and armed with power and liberty to stand in our own defense, it would be much better for us. But then, as their numbers are double ours this would be paving the way, or laying the foundation for another scene of murder and bloodshed.
What can or will be done I know not; but I think that the state of Missouri is brought to the test, whether it can and will protect the persons and rights of its own citizens or not; or whether it will suffer its government and laws to be trodden down and trampled under the feet of a lawless banditti, without bringing them to justice.
As it respects the charges and crimes which they accuse us of being guilty, I think that they are not worthy of notice; for the law is open and they hold the execution of it in their own hands; and if we were guilty of crimes they certainly would have brought us to an account for them. But their not doing this, is clearly an evidence that we are innocent.
And again, in their declaration, or memorial, published after they tore down the printing office, they, as nearly as I can recollect, say, that the thing or crime for which they proceeded against us, was that that could not have been foreseen by any Legislature; therefore, no law has been enacted against it. This is plainly acknowledging, that we are guilty of no crime for which the law could take any hold of us. Yours, & c.
JOHN CORRIL [Corrill].
Communicated for The Evening and the Morning Star.
Millennium. No. II.
When the God of heaven sent a messenger to proclaim judgment on the old world, he provided an ark for the safety of the righteous: when Sodom was burned, there was a Zoar provided for Lot and his family; and when Jerusalem was destroyed, the Savior told the saints to flee out, and they fled, and found safety. And in the last days, when the Lord brings judgment on the world, there will be a Mount Zion, and a Jerusalem, where there will be deliverance. [See Joel II. 32]
What a difference between a man of God, and a self authorized and self constituted messenger! The man of God will no sooner cry, Destruction, desolation, and judgment, than he will tell them of an ark, a Zoar, a Palla, a Mount Zion, a Jerusalem, or some other place which God has provided for them who will hear his voice. But Mr. M'Corkle, like every other messenger, that God never sent, can cry, Destruction, desolation, fire, and judgment, and write very ingeniously about it, but there it ends; with perhaps, a false prophet, or false christ, to finish it; and there the sound dies away. And the world is just as well off, as when he began to cry; with this advantage, perhaps, they have been amused a little, at some creatures folly.
For several years we have been waiting and reading the "Millennial Harbinger," and finding a little of every thing in it which has been written or spoken of, for the last hundred years, the Millennium excepted; that, as though its Harbinger was ashamed of it, has never as yet been able to find a place in its columns, so as to pay one visit to its friends. How long it will be kept in this solitary situation, remains to be disclosed in futurity; or whether the Editor of the Harbinger was really in earnest when he put MILLENNIAL, on the title page of his paper; or whether he designed to practice a hoax on its readers, time will doubtless bring to light. Or perhaps the Editor understands the subject too well, to let it appear in his paper, believing if he does, that it will sap the foundation of all that he has done, and been doing for the last twenty years.
Let the Editor of the Harbinger, however, treat this subject as he will, and let him in his course be influenced by what motives he may, whether good or evil, the Lord be his judge, and not us. If he acts righteously, he will receive a righteous man's reward; but if unrighteously, he will be rewarded accordingly; and although he has been lavish in his abuse of some of the members of the church of Christ; and not only some, but all the church has been reproached by him, all we say, is, the Lord judge between him and us, and deal with us according to justice and mercy, and there we leave it.
The subject, however, which the Editor of the Harbinger has treated with neglect, either through fear or ignorance, (for what else could have caused him to offer violence to his proposed object and plighted faith,) is the very one which effects the salvation of this generation. The only thing which God promised to the world, after the great apostacy [apostasy], which was to corrupt all nations, and defile all the kings of the earth; and terminate in the overthrow of the Gentiles to whom the kingdom of heaven had been given, when the Jews were overthrown, was to return the scattered remnants of Jacob, and gather the house of Joseph; bringing them as he did at the first, and building them as he did at the beginning, & returning to them, (when they were washed and had put away the evil of their doings from before the eyes of the Lord, and had ceased to do evil, and learned to do well,) their Judges as at the first, and their counsellors [counselors] as at the beginning; and that not by virtue of any previous covenant with the house of Israel, but by one which was to be made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah in the last days which was to be different from all other covenants, made with that people. Though in obedience to covenant made with their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which God with these three men made, renewed, and confirmed, which covenant was to be fulfilled upon the generations of the thousand years, or Millennium. We know that some careless transcriber, or ignorant translator, has made the Psalmest, say, in the Psalm before mentioned, a thousand generations; but as their never will be that many generations on earth, the most illiterate may see the mistake. [See the cv Psalm.]
The house of Israel in the last days, was to be taught by a people of stammering lips and another tongue, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. In former days they had enlightened the Gentiles: in latter days the Gentiles were to enlighten them. They had sent revelations in former times; and in latter times revelations were to go from among the Gentiles. In former days the Gentiles had obtained mercy through them; and in latter times they were to obtain mercy through the Gentiles.
Paul says, in viewing the marvelous dealings of God, Behold, the goodness and severity of God. By the hand of the Gentiles the Lord had scattered them; and by the hand of the Gentiles he would gather the house of Jacob, and save the house of Joseph, and plant them again in their own land; returning them to their folds, and peopling their waste heritages. They should come to Zion with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads, never to be supplanted, never to be thrown down any more: they should build and inherit; they should plant and eat the fruit thereof. For they should not build and another inhabit; neither should they plant and another eat the fruit thereof. For as the days of a tree, shall be the days of the people of the Lord, and his elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. Their seed was to be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people. Their bones also should flourish as an herb: all that shall see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed. [See Isa. Chapters I. XI. XXVIII. LX. LXV. LXVI. Jer. Chapters XXIII. XXXIII. Zech. Chapter X.]
There seems to be one error common to all writers on the Millennium, which is this: they think that it is to be brought about by converting the Gentiles; and after all the Gentiles are converted, the Jews will be converted to the Savior also: and thus the world will be brought to see eye to eye, and be of one heart and of one mind and all contentions cease on earth.
These, doubtless, were the views of the Editor of the Harbinger; or else he could not have supposed that his paper could contribute in any degree to this end; for had it once entered into his heart, that all the Millennium ever mentioned in the bible was promised to the seed of Abraham; and that unless the scattered remnants of Jacob should be gathered from all countries whither they had been driven, that no such thing as Millennium could ever exist; or that God never promised such an era to mankind on any other ground, than that of gathering the house of Jacob to the land of their fathers; and that predicated on the fact of the Gentiles having forfeited all claim to the divine favor by reason of their great apostacy [apostasy], and having shamefully corrupted the kingdom of God, and having defiled all the nations of the earth with the wind of their fornication; they, their kings, their rulers and their judges together, until they had denied the Lord that bought them, and brought on their own heads swift destruction, as had done the Jews before them. [see 2 Pet. II.7]
Surely had the Editor of that paper possessed one correct view on this subject, he would never thought of publishing the Harbinger. But he has, however, evaded the difficulty very easily, by perfect silence. What excuse he will make to his readers for his conduct will doubtless appear by and by; and no doubt but his devotees will receive it, and say, "Well done! brother Campbell is always ready for all men." And how long the world is to be duped by such an imposition, will be seen in time to come.
The ears of the public are occasionally saluted from that press, with the great imposition of, Shakerism, aud [and] of Mormonism: But why not Mr. Editor, when you are engaged in detecting impositions, say something about the most bare faced imposition ever pawned upon this generation, the Millennial Harbinger? Why not be without respect of persons? The readers of that paper have surely been duped long enough; it is five years old; Mormonism is not yet as old. You ought certainly to begin at the oldest first; and thus show yourself a man of noble feelings; treating all alike.
The readers of that paper should recollect when they are reading it, that it is the Millennial Harbinger. And we would ask them, how long do you think you will have to read it till you understand the Millennium? You are paying the Editor his thousands a year to unfold the Millennium, and to set forth the great things which God has promised to the people of the last days, by the mouth of the holy prophets; but you get a little of every thing, that excepted. But in all this, where is the Millennium? Lying among the prophets, unsought for; and untouched, too! And yet its Harbinger is travelling abroad on the earth.
When John the Baptist came as the Harbinger of the Savior, in six months after, he could say, Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. But the poor Harbinger, like a widowed dove, can find no mate. It has been five years abroad on the earth, and going up and down on it, but no Millennium yet; not able to point to the place where it, or any part of it is to be found. Let the Editor of the Harbinger be silent about impositions till he corrects his own, and ceases to practice fraud himself.
TO BE CONTINUED.
-> The following communication was handed us by a friend just as our paper was going to press. We feel a willingness to weep with those that weep, and sympathize with those, who, in the providence of our Father are called to bid adieu to those who are united to them by the strongest earthly ties, and the most endearing obligations required by the law of heaven.
It is but a step between the living and the dead: Our moments swiftly pass, and succeeding generations, have in their turn, been called to another state of existence to give place to those who were to follow. After all our battles in this life, our breath is in the hands of the great Giver, and the length of our tarry here entirely according to his will.
To be prepared is the most important of all: We may have displayed wonders in the estimation of our fellow men, but at the great day to which we all are fast approaching, we must answer for our actions before the Judge of quick and dead. No opertunity [opportunity] will there be realized of swerving the mind as in earthly courts. The eternal course of Omnipotence cannot be changed from perfect equity, for justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
By the frequent calls of providence which we are compelled to witness, we are daily reminded of our approaching dissolution, and of the importance of being prepared to exchange worlds. Our hearts frequently cling to these earthly objects, and we too often look upon the things which are present, as though they were lasting, and forget that there is a Mansion which was prepared before the foundation of the world, a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens, where all the sanctified will rest forever in the presence of the lamb.
Every community suffers a loss when they part with one of their respectable citizens; but soon, in the bustle of life and the cares of this world, the most of them forget all but the name, and their place is seemingly supplied by the society of others: But this is not the case with the nearest relatives, there is a tie, a union, a kindred feeling that often seems to mingle with its departed relative, and a sweet soft whisper, as the voice of a seraph speaks peace to the troubled and lonesome bosom, with a consolation, that, "there is also a place prepared for you." Editor of the Star.
Died on the morning of the 16th Inst. in the town of Auburn this county, after a lingering illness, Mrs. Susan, Wife of Mr. Dwight Riggs, daughter of Col. Thomas Page, aged 21 years.
The deceased was brought into this place for interment pursuant to her own request, where an appropriate address was delivered by Elder Ward, a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, on the 18th Inst. attended by a numerous circle of relations and friends who paid their last respects and shed the sympathizing tear over her whose countenance once bloomed with health, vigor, and activity. The speaker addressed the congregation from 2 Cor. V. 1 by request of Mrs. Riggs previous to her death.
We do not esteem encomiums upon the dead of any worth, but perhaps we should be found wanting in paying that respect to the feelings of the friends of the deceased, if so solemn a visitation of divine Providence were to escape our notice.
Mrs. Riggs was a worthy member of society, and about six months previous to her death, she experienced a manifestation of the divine favor in the pardon of her sins, and an application of the atoning merits of the Lord Jesus, to her wounded soul.
She has left an affectionate husband and a little daughter, with many friends and relatives to mourn her loss: but has she left nothing to comfort and console them in their affliction? O yes! what is it? a satisfactory evidence that she rests from all her labors in the mansions prepared in our Father's house.
Thus we are called to part with one, who, in the morning of life, has been taken into a world of spirits: and what does this circumstance say to us? "Be ye also ready." Reader, perhaps it may be your lot, before another week closes, to try the realities of eternity. Can you answer the following question? if not, fly! O fly! to your bleeding Savior, while he invites you to come.
"When thou my righteous Judge shall come
To call thy ransom'd people home,
Shall I among them stand?"
Freedom, N. Y. January 14, 1834.
The first Number of your paper was received here by last Saturday's mail. I like your address to your patrons: I think it very well written, and evincive of considerable taste in wielding a goose quill. I had read in other public prints some of the proceedings of the Missouri mob, and felt in my heart the mingled emotions of sorrow and revenge. I feel to blush at the folly and imbecility of a government that should permit such daring outrages on its unoffending citizens, with impunity. I have no doubt in regard to the veracity of the statements you have published relative to that unhappy affair, and cannot but hope, that ere long, even-handed justice, tho' slow, will overtake the aggressors. They evinced a great want of knowledge of human nature, if they supposed your people in that county were ever so fanatical or stultified, and that by whipping, taring [tarring] and feathering, or even killing a few, would exterminate them, or make the survivors any less zealous. It may disperse them for a while, it is true, but the wave that seems to waft and disperse your friends may eventually recoil upon their oppressors with the fury of a mountain torrent. Such treatment will build up your cause, whether right or wrong.
I am aware that no persecution for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them who are exercised thereby. I heard an elder of your order preach last evening, by the name of David Matthews. He appeared to be quite engaged, says he has a little church of seven members in the town south of this, and more that he expects will shortly be added to them. He informed me that he considered the cause in that region prosperous. He also informed me that he had charge of another church in Chautauque county, of about fifty members. I am also credibly informed that some one, I know not who, is preaching and baptizing in Livingston county. I shall write you but short, but make up in frequent repetition what I lack in length.
W. A. COWDERY
TO OLIVER COWDERY.
Kirtland, Ohio, January 23, 1834.
You will excuse my freedom in giving publicity to your last to me of the 14th. The principles therein advanced, are of too great a moment, in my opinion, to be suffered to remain unnoticed, or sink in oblivion. I am aware that the heart of every true citizen of our beloved country, will, after a candid investigation of this shameful persecution, recoil with sorrow, on the reflection, that in our land men are so destitute of humanity and christian feelings as to be found disgracing themselves by violently opposing any sect or denomination, let their professed tenets be what they may.
It may be appropriate for me, however, before I proceed farther, to give you a short history of the character of the majority of the inhabitants of the county where this scene of murder and violence has transpired. It is but just to say, firstly, that there are individuals of respectability, who are kind, benevolent and very hospitable to strangers; and when this is said, all that can be spoken in justice, in favour [favor] of that people, is said. They are mostly emigrants from the southern states, and settled in that county prior to the sale of the public lands, and mostly, no doubt, because they were unable to purchase where lands were in market. They are persons of the lowest habits: swearing, drinking, gambling, horse racing, and fist and dirk fighting, are their common and frequent practices. To witness the unparalleled fights at election and business says at their county seat, defies description, and is sufficient, almost, to sicken one of human society!
One sample of their courts of justice will suffice for the present: In the summer of 1831, if I mistake not, two Kanzas [Kansas] Indians on their way into the white settlements from the Territory, found or took some two or three horses and led or drove them into the settlement; they were immediately taken for stealing, confined in jail for some time until a special circuit court could be called for their trial. They were liberated, but the citizens, (or a part of them,) not being satisfied, seemed to be determined to revenge themselves on their persons, and commenced stoning and brick-batting them; they were rescued by the interference of others, but not till one of them had received a wound which occasioned his death. The life of the circuit judge was threatened, and, as I was credibly informed, was under the necessity of hiring one or more individuals to protect his own person from violence. Among the mob was one of the county judges. I have given you this as an introduction of the character of their courts, and peace officers.
On the subject of the last mob you may understand also, that every officer civil or military, except a very few were either immediately engaged in the riot or bound with others to drive my friends from the county dead or alive! The Post Master at Independence Mr. Jones H. Flournoy, and Mr. R. W. Cummings Indian Agent for the General Government, also signed the bond; and still more shocking to relate, even men who professed to be preachers of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, were busily engaged with their guns, to drive from the county or destroy those who had never injured them or any individual in the slightest particular!
Under circumstances of this nature the prospect to obtain justice is not at present very favorable with my friends at the west. As regards the sentiments expressed in my address, I may say in truth, that they are the principles of my bosom. Persecution will always force men to investigate the subject of religion, and since I and my friends have thus suffered, I cannot but hope that the candid will look for themselves. Be assured that there is nothing in my profession that will ever be held back by me from investigation; and though you may not agree with the principles of my faith, on my part, that shall never be a barrier between us as brethren. I cannot believe, according to the holy prophets, but that the day is near when the elect of the Lord will be gathered from the four winds, and the voice of the Great Shepherd of Israel proclaim to the seed of Jacob, that their captivity is ended, their iniquity forgiven, and their sin remembered no more: when he shall say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth. And that we in that great day may stand among the sanctified, is the desire and fervent prayer of your brother.
TO W. A. COWDERY
LATER FROM MISSOURI.
We have received still later intelligence from Missouri, which we deem of importance to publish. It is from brother W. W. PHELPS, the former Editor of the Star, when published at Independence, Jackson county. We have been personally acquainted with brother P. for nearly three years, and have seen his unceasing diligence in the Editorial department of this paper when it was directed by himself. His veracity will not be questioned by his personal acquaintances for a moment, nor his sincerity and firmness in the faith of the Everlasting Gospel doubted, by those who have seen his daily walk since he has been a member of this church.
We have been informed, (and we credit the report,) that the mob sought very diligently for his life, and that it was only the interposition of a Merciful Providence that preserved him from their hands. It will be recollected, that he with five others, offered his life for his religion on the 23rd of July, last, when dragged from his dwelling from the embraces of his family.
What had these men done? had they broken the law of Missouri, and must be brought to justice? If so, why not proceed against them in a legal manner, that they might suffer the penalty of the law? But, instead of this, they were surrounded by hundreds, armed with clubs, dirks, pistols, whips, and rifles! and told that except they would leave the county, or deny the faith which they professed, they should there die!
When death was presented before them in the horrid form of martyrdom, they stayed themselves upon God, and relied upon his promises without a murmur, or varying in the least degree from the principles of their faith.-They were in the hands of wicked men, and wholly in their power; and when assured that their lives should be taken unless they denied their faith, or agreed to leave the county, they said, "our lives are in your power, and if you are disposed you can take them, only spare this innocent people who have never harmed any man; but we shall never deny the faith which we have professed."
But when assured that their lives should only answer for themselves, and that others should suffer in like manner; and not only this, when the lives of our men were taken, our little ones should be massacred, and our women ravished! Under circumstances of this nature our six brethren agreed to leave the county: In this they were justified. They were all men of families, and knew that if their lives were taken, their wives and little ones must fall into the hands of murderers, and would suffer violence from them.
The law of God and of man, and common humanity requires that every man shall provide for his own family. To lay down one's life voluntarily, and leave a destitute wife and children, would be a sacrifice entirely uncalled for, and one unjustifiable in the law of heaven. With what feelings could a man bid adieu to this world and leave a destitute family that he knew would immediately fall into the hands of his murderers? Could he reasonably expect that they would be hospitably provided with the necessaries of this life? No! He would have every reason to suppose, that those hands which had been imbrued in his life's blood, would seek every opportunity, to wreak vengeance upon his posterity, till his name was blotted out from among men.
Clay County, Dec. 15, 1833.
It has been some time since I have dropt [dropped] you a line, and in the midst of solitude, I write. I need not give you new details of our persecutions-for, as all true christians, that have gone before us, from Abel down to the beginners of re-establishing Zion now, have invariably suffered all manner of affliction, from common scourging even unto death:-it would not alter the decrees of God, nor lessen the necessary chastisement of them that are chosen from the foundation of the world, but who have to be tried as gold seven times purified before they are found faithful and true for that kingdom, where the sons of God only are made equal with Jesus Christ having overcome, by righteousness.
The situation of the saints, as scattered, is dubious, and affords a gloomy prospect. No regular order can be enforced; nor any usual discipline kept up-among the world; yea, the most wicked part of it, some commit one sin, and some another, (I speak of the rebellious, for there are saints that are as immovable as the everlasting Hills,) and what can be done? we are in Clay, Ray Lafayette, Jackson Van Buren, &c. and cannot hear from each other oftener than we do from you: I know it was right that we should be driven out of the land of Zion, that the rebellious might be sent away. But brethren, if the Lord will, I should like to know what the honest in heart shall do? Our cloths [clothes] are worn out-we want the necessaries of life, and shall we lease, buy, or otherwise obtain land where we are, to till that we may raise enough to eat? Such is the common language of the honest, for they want to do the will of God. I am sensible that we shall not be able to live again in Zion, till God, or the president rules out the mob.
The Governor is willing to restore us, but as the constitution gives him no power to guard us, when back, we are not willing to go. The mob sware, if we come we shall die! If, from what has been done in Zion, we, or the most of us, have got to be persecuted from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue, we want to know it; for there are those among us that would rather earn eternal life on such conditions, than lose it: But we hope for better things; and shall wait patiently for the word of the Lord. Isaiah says in the tenth chapter and 24 and 25 verses, something on the subject of Zion; and there is something also in the forth and twelfth chapters, whether we live to enjoy the sayings or not.
I do not write this letter to entertain you with news, or for to wake you up to our dreadful condition, but that you may timely give us some advice what is best to do in our tarry till Zion is redeemed! Some times I think I will go right to work upon a small piece of land and obtain what I want for my growing family: then again I feel like writing the Horrid History of the mob against the "mormons"-preambuling [perambulating] it with the Martyrs that have been nailed to the cross, burned alive, thrown to wild beasts and devowered [devoured], fryed [fried] in pans, broiled on Grid Irons, or beheaded for the sake of their religion and faith in Jesus Christ. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, &c. If this world embraced much of Eternity, I should soon be sick of it-but for all our sorrow we shall have joy!
Our people fair very well, and when they are discreet little or no persecution is felt. The militia in the upper counties is in readiness at a moment's warning, having been ordered out by the Governor, to guard a court martial, and court of Enquiry [Inquiry], &c. but we can not attend a court of Enquiry [Inquiry], on account of the expense, till we are restored and protected!
Till the Lord delivers,
Or brings us together, I am,
W. W. PHELPS.
-> Some of our patrons, perhaps, who forwarded their money to Missouri, for the second Volume of the Star, expect that we shall fill their subscription from this office. We forwarded the last number to those whose names were on the Mail Book of W. W. PHELPS & CO. at Missouri, expecting that by so doing we should accommodate our friends at a distance; but they cannot expect that we shall consider ourselves under obligation to furnish any from this place without remuneration, and we presume, that when our patrons consider the loss sustained by our friends in Missouri, in the destruction of their press, that they will feel willing to donate the amount of one paper for a year, to those who have suffered the loss of thousands, beside being driven from their own dwellings, and have now no place to lay their heads.
I have no home, where shall I go, Ten thousand that were led by me,
While I am left to weep below? Lie round this hill called Cumorah;
My heart is pain'd, my friends are gone, Their spirits from their bodies fled,
And here I'm left on earth to mourn. And they are number'd with the dead.
I see my people lying round, Well might my father in despair,
All lifeless here upon the ground: Cry, O ye fair ones! once how fair!
Young men and maidens in their gore; How is it that you've fallen! Oh!
Which does increase my sorrow more! My soul is fill'd with pain for you.
My father look'd upon this scene, My life is sought! where shall I flee?
And in his writings has made plain, Lord take me home to dwell with thee,
How ev'ry Nephite's heart did fear, Where all my sorrow will be o'er,
When he beheld his foe draw near. And I shall sigh and weep no more.
With axe [ax] and bow they fell upon Thus sang the son of Mormon when
Our men and women, sparing none, He gaz'd upon his Nephite men,
And left them prostrate on the ground, Aud [And] women too, which had been slain,
Lo! here they now are bleeding round! And left to moulder on the plain!
The Evening and Morning Star IS PUBLISHED EVERY MONTH AT KIRTLAND, GEAUGA COUNTY, OHIO. BY F. G. WILLIAMS & CO. O. COWDERY, Editor.
THE PRICE IS ONE DOLLAR FOR A YEAR IN ADVANCE, EXCEPT SPECIAL CONTRACTS ARE MADE. EVERY PERSON THAT SENDS US $10, CURRENT MONEY, SHALL BE ENTITLED TO A PAPER FOR A YEAR, GRATIS. ALL LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, OR PUBLISHERS, MUST BE
-> POST PAID. <-
OF MOST KINDS, DONE TO ORDER, AND IN STYLE AT THIS OFFICE.